UNITED STATES: The National Basketball Association (NBA) decided on Thursday 11 to retire the No. 6 jersey league-wide in honor of Bill Russell, who died July 31 at 88.
Bill Russell’s family announced he passed away at 88 peacefully with his wife at his side. The NBA legend played with the Boston Celtics throughout his 13 seasons career, where he became a 12-time All-Star, 11-time NBA champion, five-time MVP, and an 11-time All-NBA selection and also did some coaching for Celtics as well.
He also served as the head coach for the Seattle SuperSonics and Sacramento Kings.
In a statement released by the NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, he stated, “Bill Russell’s unparalleled success on the court and pioneering civil rights activism deserves to be honored in a unique and historic way,” he continued, “Permanently retiring his No. 6 across every NBA team ensures that Bill’s transcendent career will always be recognized.”
Russell is one of two athletes in the U.S. sports to achieve 11 championship titles, but, as claimed by Commissioner Silver, Bill Russell will always be remembered for his incredible work but especially off the court.
In a statement released by Bill Russell’s family announcing his passing, they said, “But for all the winning, Bill’s understanding of the struggle is what illuminated his life.”
The statement added, “From boycotting a 1961 exhibition game to unmask too-long-tolerated discrimination, to leading Mississippi’s first integrated basketball camp in the combustible wake of Medgar Evers’ assassination, to decades of activism recognized by his receipt of the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2010, Bill called out injustice with an unforgiving candor that he intended would disrupt the status quo, and with a powerful example that, though never his humble intention, will forever inspire teamwork, selflessness and thoughtful change.”
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